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An indicator that 19th century banjos are on the up?

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Jul 5, 2020 - 5:16:27 PM
155 posts since 1/26/2020

ebay.com/itm/1890s-Antique-Vic...rue&rt=nc

I know this is a very commonly discussed topic, but it's a fun one to still bring up in new threads.
I've read on here, in many archived threads, that old 19th century banjos have not increased in value much over the last 20 or so years. I got hold of a banjo almost identical to this one that just ended on eBay, for around $200 not too long ago. Granted, I had to replace the fingerboard, nut, and 5th string nut, but still; $805 is a pretty penny for what looks to be a bottom of the line Fairbanks banjo. Don't get me wrong, I love mine and play it a lot. This one even has that generic peanut head that was on a few other "branded" cheap banjos from the 1890s. Or maybe someone just REALLY wanted this one.
I know I'm not the only one on here that likes to watch the auctions and sales, with no intention of buying.

Blaine

Edited by - tbchappe on 07/05/2020 17:19:08

Jul 5, 2020 - 6:57:11 PM
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5417 posts since 9/21/2007

I would call this a fluke.

Sometimes, and I am not sure why, there is a random auction that runs away like this. I've seen similar examples on valueless Buckbee banjos that are trashed.

Perhaps the winner of the auction might explain why they wanted this so badly if they are a member.

Jul 5, 2020 - 7:04:32 PM
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347 posts since 5/29/2015

It takes two people to have a successful auction. Another person's bid was just below the winning bid.

Jul 5, 2020 - 7:28:54 PM

155 posts since 1/26/2020

yeah, it's weird. I see a number of comparable banjos on eBay with a $500 BIN price, and they just sit there.

Blaine

Jul 5, 2020 - 9:34:17 PM

Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

23805 posts since 6/25/2005

I think a couple of folks got too excited by the fact it's a Fairbanks. The seller clearly doesn't know banjos that well. It lacks original pegs and tailpiece at least. Could be a real can of worms. Assuming the neck really is straight, it will be a playable banjo. But for more than $900 after shipping and all?

Jul 5, 2020 - 9:53:16 PM
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148 posts since 10/8/2018

I was watching this one when it was $120! Eeek that went really high. There was another Fairbanks that went the day before that had an early tailpiece tuners and what was left of the disintegrated fingerboard and inlay as well as a new piece of ebony for a new finger board. Looked like a fun project! And it went for a bit over $400. I love to watch what things go for! Was really drooling over the white lady that started at $400 last week ended up $2100 Including the shipping. Fun!

Jul 5, 2020 - 9:57:53 PM

155 posts since 1/26/2020

quote:
Originally posted by TriMD180

I was watching this one when it was $120! Eeek that went really high. There was another Fairbanks that went the day before that had an early tailpiece tuners and what was left of the disintegrated fingerboard and inlay as well as a new piece of ebony for a new finger board. Looked like a fun project! And it went for a bit over $400. I love to watch what things go for! Was really drooling over the white lady that started at $400 last week ended up $2100 Including the shipping. Fun!


TOTALLY! I enjoy it, until I'm bidding, and then I'm like, "EVERYBODY GO TO BED!!!" In fact, I've not won anything besides maybe a set of vintage friction pegs in an auction site. There's always someone willing to pay a little more than me.

Blaine

Jul 6, 2020 - 5:34:45 AM
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7414 posts since 8/28/2013

This one's a fluke: two fools bidding who didn't know much about banjos. It happens from time to time, but I doubt this one is part of a trend toward better sales prices.

Auctions can be weird. I attended a going-out-of-business auction at ahardware store once. Some items went for way more than original retail, even though the retail prices were clearly marked on many of them. I walked away empty handed and amazed at all the other bidders' cupidity and stupidity.

Jul 6, 2020 - 6:07:19 AM

3860 posts since 10/13/2005

Grandpappy used to say about Poker, "It's not the bad hands where you lose money, it's the good ones." banjered

Jul 6, 2020 - 7:28:18 AM
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rmcdow

USA

838 posts since 11/8/2014

Looking at the bid history of this one is pretty informative.

Jul 6, 2020 - 7:39:33 AM

1651 posts since 2/12/2009
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there is a pretty similar one been sitting some weeks on ebay at over a grand, no takers though !

Jul 6, 2020 - 7:39:52 AM

1213 posts since 2/4/2013

It just shows that people will pay for names.

Jul 6, 2020 - 8:21:11 AM

1651 posts since 2/12/2009
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unless the buyer just likes it very much, who can say ?

Jul 6, 2020 - 10:34:24 AM
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961 posts since 12/8/2006

Dang, I gotta move mine (banjohangout.org/classified/81846) to Ebay. Mine's nicer, too.

Jul 6, 2020 - 5:47:10 PM

155 posts since 1/26/2020

quote:
Originally posted by rmcdow

Looking at the bid history of this one is pretty informative.


What information do you gather? From my perspective it seems one person put in the highest amount they would pay, a 2nd person came in and just kept bashing the "$5 more" button, until they took the lead, and then someone likely came in with the sniper bid of, I'd guess $1,000. That's 3 people that were willing to spend more than twice what I would've on that banjo, and about six people that were willing to just spend more outright. I'd have walked out after $350, personally, were I in the market.

Jul 6, 2020 - 5:56:41 PM

5417 posts since 9/21/2007

ebay.com/help/policies/selling...y?id=4353

Not saying that this is the case, just.. you know...

Jul 6, 2020 - 8:47:13 PM

155 posts since 1/26/2020

quote:
Originally posted by Joel Hooks

ebay.com/help/policies/selling...y?id=4353

Not saying that this is the case, just.. you know...


I had also considered this, though, I've found myself hitting the bid button 9-10 a few times in the past, not to shill bid anyone. Usually those last 2-3 bids come with some hesitation from me.

Blaine

Jul 6, 2020 - 9:00:54 PM
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5417 posts since 9/21/2007

The shill had zero feedback, that is the tell.

Jul 7, 2020 - 5:49:02 AM

hbick2

USA

218 posts since 6/26/2004
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You never know what is going to happen on eBay. I put an early advertisement for a rare Columbia phonograph up one time. It was nothing more than a single sheet of paper folded twice into a trifold brochure. It was from the 1890's. I think I had a reserve price of $50 on it. There were two serious bidders and it went for over $500. I had probably paid 50 cents for it. The winning bidder said in an email that it was a lot of money but he didn't regret it at all. He actually had thatl model of phonograph and this went perfectly with it. He was happy and so was I.

Jul 7, 2020 - 11:52:37 AM
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m06

England

8980 posts since 10/5/2006

I think the usual term is 'auction fever'. When the fixation with 'winning' and getting an item overtakes all common sense and prudence.

Anyone can get lucky once or twice in a quiet auction where there's no interest and then mistakenly put that chance down to the 'fact' that they know the market. That's probably why it's a good rule of thumb to only enter competitive auctions if you really do know your subject and exactly what is the sensible lower and upper price range.

Otherwise in the calm after the auction it's a long, rueful walk to the auctioneers payment window, or in these ebay days the paypal website.

Edited by - m06 on 07/07/2020 11:57:01

Jul 7, 2020 - 1:01:57 PM
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7414 posts since 8/28/2013

One-upmanship is certainly sometimes a factor in some auctions. Another, of course, is that bidders sometimes have one small gap in a collection, which they'll do almost anything to fill.

One other factor is just plain ignorance about actual values.

If the buyer of this banjo is dumb enough to hope he'll make a big profit by reselling it, I hope he gets exactly what he deserves.

Jul 7, 2020 - 1:29:50 PM

1651 posts since 2/12/2009
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seems like this thread has become a rant about somebody spending their own money on a banjo ! why ? is it not possible that somebody just wanted that banjo and, was quite prepared to pay good money for it ? Who says he/she is looking to profit from it ? could just be something the buyer always wanted , good luck to whoever owns it .

Jul 7, 2020 - 1:36:16 PM

155 posts since 1/26/2020

quote:
Originally posted by spoonfed

seems like this thread has become a rant about somebody spending their own money on a banjo ! why ? is it not possible that somebody just wanted that banjo and, was quite prepared to pay good money for it ? Who says he/she is looking to profit from it ? could just be something the buyer always wanted , good luck to whoever owns it .


My original approach was surprise and to inquire if these were trending up as suggested in the topic title. Based on my relatively infantile experience, I saw a number of very similar banjos going for less than half only a 4-6 months ago, so I wasn't sure if anyone else was noticing an upward trend.

But yeah, if someone is happy with this perfectly fine 120 year old banjo, and the seller is likely more than happy, then great for both of them.

 

Blaine

Jul 7, 2020 - 1:52:47 PM

1651 posts since 2/12/2009
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Terry, I am as afflicted by BAS as most of us here and, I am always on the lookout for nice old banjos, one thing I have noticed particularly since the virus is that the market is more cranky and unpredictable than ever before.

Jul 7, 2020 - 5:45:37 PM

7414 posts since 8/28/2013

quote:
Originally posted by spoonfed

seems like this thread has become a rant about somebody spending their own money on a banjo ! why ? is it not possible that somebody just wanted that banjo and, was quite prepared to pay good money for it ? Who says he/she is looking to profit from it ? could just be something the buyer always wanted , good luck to whoever owns it .


You seem to have taken issue with my thoughts. However, I did not accuse the buyer of profiteering. You obviously missed the beginning word of my last sentence: "IF." 

I also said, in case you didn't notice, that "...bidders sometimes have one small gap in a collection, which they'll do almost anything to fill." 

Naturally, if a buyer wanted this and paid for it, I too hope he enjoys it. However, we are all free to speculate on the reasons he paid so much, or the reasons why some other items are purchased at overmarket prices.  

Jul 8, 2020 - 11:19:19 AM

1651 posts since 2/12/2009
Online Now

George, I have not taken issue with anybody here, I am just surprised at the tone of many replies which if you reread this entire thread seem to be universal surprise that this banjo fetched the price it did, my point ? the buyer paid what he wanted for it and, now he has got it . All is good as far as I am concerned .

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